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Cathryn is a Senior Associate specialising in UK pensions advisory work.

Cathryn joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a trainee in 2002 and qualified into the London pensions team in September 2004.  She has experience in a broad range of pensions work, in particular advisory and transactional work, as well as pensions disputes.

Cathryn specialises in advising employers and trustees in relation to day-to-day pensions issues, such as changes to legislation and scheme administration issues.  She also advises on larger projects including benefit review and design, scheme risk reduction, and scheme funding negotiations.  

Cathryn has advised in respect of several pensions disputes, including various complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman.  She also has extensive experience advising on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions and restructurings.  

Cathryn has particular experience of drafting relevant documentation (such as deeds, member communications and contractual documents) and advising on scheme mergers.  Cathryn has advised on the cessation of accrual (and in some cases winding up) in respect of several pension schemes.  

Cathryn is a full member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.


Cathryn has a degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University and holds the LPC postgraduate diploma from the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice.  She joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a trainee in 2002 and qualified into the pensions team in September 2004.  

Experience & expertise

Selected matters

  • trust boards throughout the process to enter into a buy-in contract including advising (and assisting in negotiating) insurer terms and advising on the benefits (including discretionary benefits) to be secured
  • trustee boards in relation to equalising for the effect of GMPs
  • various trustee boards in relation to legislative changes, such as the introduction of objectives for investment consultants and the need to have policies in relation to ESG, as well as tax changes and data protection changes due to the implementation of the GDPR
  • various trustees on third party agreements such as investment manager agreements and actuarial appointment letters
  • both employers and trustees in relation to day to day administration of schemes (both DB and DC) including drafting governing documentation and member communications, and  in relation to administrative errors and member complaints